Westside Pioneer Home Page

GUEST COLUMN: Wasson Academic Campus offers 'extended opportunities'

       By Dan Hoff

Oct. 10, 2017
       Growing up on the Westside is something I reflect upon often. It was, and still is, a gift that is deeply rooted in my personal beliefs and guides my professional work on a daily basis. The Westside is populated by fiercely loyal families - people who
Dan Hoff, executive director of nontraditional and alternative education for the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus.
Courtesy photo
believe in hard work, raising good kids and the value of a well-rounded education. These are the principles that come up every time I speak with folks in Colorado Springs about the Westside.
       After reading in the Westside Pioneer about the recent Coronado High School Homecoming Parade, I once again reflected about the community we live in. A variety of great opportunities continue to exist at CHS, and the Colorado Department of Education recently honored it as a “Performance” school.
       What I would like to talk about here are extended educational opportunities available to everyone in School District 11, including students at Coronado. Those opportunities exist at the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus (RJWAC).
       If you are unaware of what Wasson has become, I encourage you to get educated about it. Call me, visit the website and get the facts - not some “story” you may have heard.
       I will tell you that the campus is about community, opportunity and resources for ALL kids. The RJWAC empowers students, initiates ownership of their education and delivers an exceptional educational menu of opportunities. Kids may attend a 90-minute block, half-day or full day. We are open 14 hours a day. There is no cost for a majority of the schools or programs.
       Transportation is available throughout the day, including to and from CHS.
The Bijou School, an alternative high school that's now one of the offerings at the Wasson Academic Campus, was located at two locations on the Westside from 2001 to 2013. The photo above was taken at a barbecue saying farewell to the first site on North Walnut Street (which has recently become an infill site for residential construction).
Westside Pioneer file photo
The RJWAC contains:
       · Achieve Online Education
       · Adult and Family Education
       · The Bijou School
       · Digital High School
       · Early College High School
       · Springs Community Night School
       · Tesla EOS - High School and Middle School
       · Early Childhood Center and Family Literacy
       · Career Pathways (postsecondary credit and industry certification)
       I know that each kid learns differently. The Westside has a spectrum of kids with individual talents. I want those talents to shine! I encourage you and your kids to explore the menu of opportunities that are available to them at CHS, at the RJWAC or as a shared education between both.
       Let kids have a voice in their education and I will show you a kid that will rise to the challenge!
       We are a great community…TOGETHER!

       Editor's note: Formerly a teacher at Coronado High, Dan Hoff recently became executive director of nontraditional and alternative education for the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus (RJWAC). The campus is located on the site of the former Wasson High School, 2115 Afton Way, off Constitution Avenue. District 11 started RJWAC in 2014, the year after it closed the high school. The first RJWAC director was David Engstrom, who had been principal at Coronado. He is now assistant superintendent of instruction for District 11.

(Opinion: Guest Columns)

Would you like to respond to this column? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)